Cole dances round the Poles

Poland Under-21 1 - England Under-21 3
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The Independent Online

Carlton Cole and Darren Bent came to the rescue again as Peter Taylor's England Under-21 side survived a difficult opening 45 minutes to run out comfortable winners in a European qualifier here.

Carlton Cole and Darren Bent came to the rescue again as Peter Taylor's England Under-21 side survived a difficult opening 45 minutes to run out comfortable winners in a European qualifier here.

Cole and Bent were both on target four days previously in the convincing 2-0 win over Austria in Krems, and they continued in the same vein last night. Cole - on loan to Aston Villa from Chelsea - made it four goals in three Under-21 games this season and he has been earmarked by Taylor as a contender for the senior squad.

Bent has become something of a super-sub with the Under-21s and he struck for the fifth and sixth times at this level in his eighth game, all as a substitute.

After six minutes Poland went ahead through Marcin Burkhardt, who gave Carson no chance with a rising drive from 12 yards after Pawel Brozek had cut in from the left and out-stripped Tottenham's new signing Calum Davenport.

In first-half injury-time Cole continued his scoring streak to equalise. David Bentley floated in a cross from the right and Cole brought the ball down and hit a rising drive past Radoslav Cierzniak for his fourth goal in three Under-21 games. To make matters worse for the home side Dariusz Dudka was sent off for dissent after receiving a yellow card and then a straight red in quick succession.

After 64 minutes Peter Taylor introduced Bent - on target four times for the Under-21s as a substitute - and England finally went ahead in the 71st minute when Pennant was adjudged to have been brought down in the penalty area by Piotr Brozek - and Bent made no mistake from the spot.

Cole was still looking sharp and Cierzniak came out to save bravely at his feet before England wrapped up their second win in four days. Pennant won the ball in midfield and released Bent who then exchanged passes with Cole before converting the simplest of tap-ins.

It completed a perfect return as Under-21 coach for Peter Taylor before he rejoins Hull today.

Poland U21: Cierzniak; Kucharski, Lukasiewicz, Dudka, Fonfara, Peszko, Rzezniczak, Burkhardt, Pawel Brozek, Gregorek, Piotr Brozek. Substitutes: Krakowiak, Wojciechowski, Szalachowski, Kikut, Klatt, Kwiek, Zganiacz.

England U21: Carson; Johnson, Ferdinand, Davenport, Baines, Pennant, O'Neil, Reo-Coker, Milner, Bentley, Cole. Substitutes: Hoyte, Lonergan, Kilgallon, Welsh, Whittingham, Bent, Stead.

Referee: D Gomes (Portugal).

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